Thousands of children across Colorado will be strapping on helmets, kicking up kickstands, and filling up bike racks for the seventh annual National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9. More than 135 schools across the state and more than 2,000 schools around the country will be participating.
“Bike to School Day is a national event that gives communities across the state and the country the opportunity to join together in biking to school on the same day,” said Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Safe Routes to School Program Manager Leslie Feuerborn. “The excitement and support for events across Colorado from mountain towns like Leadville to the cities on the Eastern Plains such as Sterling, and from the metro areas such as Denver to rural communities like Center is inspiring, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how many communities and families are coming together to promote safe bicycling to school on this one day.”
May is also National Bike Month. Students, along with parents, teachers and community leaders, will be bicycling or walking to and from school throughout the month so drivers are encouraged to be extra cautious. Distracted driving is a common cause of crashes so motorists are urged to put down their cell phone, keep their eyes on the road and watch for children near roadways.
Although Bike to School Day is a one-day event, it is leading to long-term change. Students, parents, and teachers are using Bike to School Day to inspire communities to work to create safer routes for bicycling and walking, and emphasizing the importance about a number of issues, such as increasing physical activity among children, cyclist and pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.
CDOT encourages schools and parents to remind their students about riding safely to and from school with tips such as:
- Protecting your brain – helmet up on every ride
- Doing a bike ABC Quick Check (Air, Brakes, Cranks and Chain)
- Being visible, wearing bright clothing
- Sticking to your planned route to and from school
- Riding in the same direction as traffic when on the street
- Looking left, right, and left again to assure cars are stopping before crossing the street
- Using hand signals when stopping or turning
- Being extra careful by driveways, parking lots, and intersections
- Inviting parents and children to practice the safe route to school before Bike to School Day
In addition, these events can help encourage communities to implement policies or engineering changes that make it safer to walk and bike to school. In 2016, nearly 70% of event organizers indicated that their event led to planned, or already completed, policy or engineering changes.
Bike to School Day builds on the popularity and success of Walk to School Day, celebrated across the country – and the world – each October.
For additional information, please visit these websites:
- Walk and Bike to School Day: www.walkbiketoschool.org
- National Center for Safe Routes to School: www.saferoutesinfo.org
- Colorado Safe Routes to School: www.codot.gov/programs/bikeped/safe-routes
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